Luis Chaverra scores game-winner as Sewanhaka gains spot in playoffs

advertisement | advertise on newsday

It was nothing new for Sewanhaka when it fell behind by a goal early in the second half against West Hempstead in a Nassau Class A boys soccer outbracket game on Wednesday.

The Indians have played with their backs against the wall for nearly three weeks, knowing a loss would be devastating to their playoff hopes.

No. 13 Sewanhaka (6-4-5) came through once again when it counted the most to secure a 2-1 victory over No. 20 West Hempstead (3-8-1).

"The last 15 minutes we really turned up the pressure after going to a more attacking formation," coach Peter Burgess said. "We were confident and we've been practicing this week for this situation on how to counter. We were prepared."

It came down to the last few nerve-wracking minutes. With just two minutes remaining and Sewanhaka down 1-0, Christian Torres finally converted on a shot from the top of the box that banged off the post and went in.

"Everyone went bananas," Burgess said.

It was not until there were two minutes remaining in the second overtime -- the 118th minute of the game -- that Eder Gonzalez threaded a pass across the field to Luis Chaverra, who beat a defender and scored the game-winner, securing a playoff berth.

The victory extended Sewanhaka's unbeaten streak to five and sets them up for a date 7 p.m. Friday at No. 4 South Side -- the last team to defeat the Indians.

Burgess said Sewanhaka came out slowly against South Side in the previous matchup and trailed 3-0 at halftime but the Indians played South Side to a 1-1 draw in the second half.

"We got off to a little bit of a slow start in the first half of that game, but the second half was the turning point of our season," Burgess said. "We've been playing some really good ball since then."

You also may be interested in: